Natural Man

Natural Man

by Arthur B. Moss

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Concerning the when and how of the origin of man nothing positive is known. Genesis states that ""god made man,"" but as the greatest intellects of modern times doubt the existence of deity, a ready acceptance of the Mosaic account of the creation of the haman species can only take place among those who are not well qualified to weigh evidence, balance probabilities, and appraise the evidence of rival theories.
The researches of men of science lead us to the belief that the authors of the first and second chapters of Genesis were mistaken. They formulated a theory and imagined it to be a fact.
Darwin, Haeckel, Huxley, and other eminent scientists, dispute altogether the theory that man was created perfect, and in their works have proved to demonstration that the beings called men have evolved from lower organisms; that they have the same anatomical structure as the Catarrhini apes; that there is a distinct blood-relationship between them, and that they have both had a common parentage.
To establish the truth of the evolution theory, it is enough to look fairly at the facts of nature; to observe man under various aspects; to consider him in barbaric times, or in countries where he is not yet civilised; to see him in a nude condition, with nothing to cover him but a mass of hair which nature provides; to watch him in his struggle for life with his enemies, the destructive lower animals and his fellow men, and to find in the course of years that a higher form of man has evolved out of this barbaric creature.
The evolution theory accounts for the facts as they are observed in life—facts which upon any other theory are quite inexplicable. And it must not be supposed that because the theory does not give a complete explanation to all the phenomena that it therefore is not reliable. Haeckel says (""Pedigree of Man,"" p. 36): ""If we can only prove the general truth of the Darwinian theory, our idea of the origin of man from lower vertebrata follows of necessity, and we are not obliged to give a special proof as to this latter view if the general proposition is well established."" That the general proposition is well established is now admitted by the most enlightened of the opponents of Darwinism. What is called the ""evolution theory"" is generally acknowledged to be removed from the region of hypothesis to that of fact.
But it is not my purpose further to pursue the subject of man's origin, which, while it is confessedly a most interesting question, is one upon which no man who is not a skilled scientist can write or speak with authority. I can only deal with probabilities. Nobody, so far as we know, was present to witness the first man spring into existence. Indeed, we do not know that there was a first man! And if there was a first, it does not follow that he was conscious of being made, or when he was completed that he had the pleasure of seeing his maker, who told him how it was done. Or, on the other hand, if he were evolved from some lower creature it does not follow that he was conscious of the evolution. But at least we can be sure that history speaks with no uncertain sound concerning man's progress in the world and the means by which it was achieved. As a civilised creature man is not many centuries old. Even now we find many savage races existing on the earth, and in type so low in the scale are they that they more nearly resemble the brute beasts, both in intellect and in physique, than the higher forms of men. Now if we would study the progress of the human race to any advantage, we must study it apart from all prejudice, and not allow religious or superstitious notions concerning the superiority of one class of people to warp our minds and prevent us from understanding the important part played by savage peoples in the battle of life. For it must always be remembered that man's history is one of fearful warfare, not only between men and men, but between man and the lower animals.
It is no flight of the imagination to say that there exist the clearest proofs that man many ages ago lived in ""holes in the earth,"" and went in constant fear of animals who sought him as their prey. Sometimes he would have to scramble up trees to elude the vigilance of these sagacious beasts; sometimes the tree would form no place of safety, and he would have to run for dear life or become a living sacrifice to these savage beings.
In the course of time man learnt how to keep himself warm, while the beasts of the field perished from cold or parched with thirst and famished with hunger, sunk and died; he learnt how to huddle himself up close to a fire in his mud-hut, out of all danger from the enemy. In addition to this he learnt how to speak, to communicate his thoughts to his fellows. These were great steps in advance. Man was still in a nude condition. But now he began to form a theory as to the cause of the phænomena of the universe.

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940149102983
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 10/06/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 196 KB

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